The Essex Region Conservation Authority has issued a flood watch for the Lake Erie shoreline.

The Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority has issued a flood outlook for Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent.

ERCA says areas of the region that could be most significantly impacted are the west side of Point Pelee National Park, the Municipality of Leamington west of Point Pelee National Park, the Town of Kingsville, the Town of Essex and the west and south shorelines of Pelee Island.

Weather forecasts are calling for strong winds Wednesday afternoon and throughout the day Thursday. 

Sustained southwest winds between 35 and 40 km/hr are expected starting early Wednesday afternoon before switching more westerly and diminishing. 

For Thursday, sustained southerly winds above 35 km/hr are expected to start early in the morning switching to the southwest before the afternoon and finally to the west in the early evening. 

Sustained wind speeds are expected to peak midafternoon at around 45 km/hr with gust up to 65 km/hr. 

Environment Canada’s Marine Forecasts suggest wind over Lake Erie could reach sustained speeds of 55 km/hr Thursday afternoon.  Wave heights are not expected to exceed 1m in height Wednesday, but have not been posted for Thursday.   

Over the last year, flooding has occurred along Erie Shore Drive in Chatham-Kent when the area experiences sustained winds above 35 km/hr from a southerly direction (southeast through southwest).    

As the forecasted wind speeds and direction meet this threshold, there could be flooding along Erie Shore Drive over the next several days.  The forecasted wind conditions are similar to, or slightly less, than what has been experienced during the wind events over the last few weeks. 

Residents in vulnerable areas along the Lake Erie shoreline should pay attention to local conditions and prepare accordingly.

People should take extra caution and avoid the shoreline should conditions get rough.  The waves can be strong and the shoreline slippery.  There could also be hazardous debris within the waves and water which could be thrown onto the shoreline.  Standing water can also present unseen hazards.  Children, pets and livestock should be kept away from the water

ERCA's flood watch is in effect until Friday morning at 9 a.m. The LTVCA flood outlook is also in effect until Friday.